Defense Bill Gets Tangled in Fight Over Fiscal Policy

It’s a familiar scenario for lawmakers. Despite their track record, the administration is stressing that with the bill combining a host of policy fights, from lifting budget caps to closing Guantanamo, the president will hold firm this year.

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee who shepherded the bill through conference negotiations with the House, reminded colleagues the NDAA is a military spending blueprint, and doesn’t actually appropriate any funds.

Many Democrats are skeptical of the defense bill because they don’t want to ditch the budget limits on defense spending without a correlating increase in domestic programs. The administration is threatening to veto the defense bill over how Congress added money – for the military only.

If the legislation clears the Senate, Obama will have to decide whether to make good on his threat, which the White House repeated on Monday.

Johnson, the Heritage Foundation, noted that those vetoes were based on policy-specific objections, unlike Obama’s more general call for non-defense spending to be raised along with defense spending.

“[It] is objectionable to me and to others in other agencies, and I think ought to be to the taxpayer, and certainly to the warfighter”, Carter said, according to the Associated Press.

Johnson said the “interesting question” is whether the Senate will be able to muster a veto-proof majority.

“They are only about 60 ships short in their Coast Guard of what we have in our Navy”, Forbes said.

Senate Republicans are fast-tracking a bill aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities after a shooting earlier this year sparked a political firestorm around the issue.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had hinted before the vote that when the president ultimately kicks the bill back to Congress, Democrats will fall in the party line.

There appears to be more than enough support in the Senate, which voted 73-26 Tuesday to head off a filibuster.

Conservative grassroots voters, feeling betrayed by a GOP that immediately funded President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty for law-breaking foreigners and sold out USA sovereignty to a hugely unpopular global governance deal known as the Trans Pacific Partnership, appear to be turning up the heat on establishment candidates. Sixty votes were needed to allow the bill to advance to a final vote this week. Under the special process, called reconciliation, the Senate can pass legislation with just 51 votes.

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That means if Democratic leadership wants to try to block the bill, they would likely face a uphill slog to convince more than a dozen senators to switch their votes and oppose the bill next week.

An annual defense policy bill with a military benefits overhaul advanced Tuesday toward a final vote in Congress despite opposition from Democrats